A Utah woman, Ruby Franke, known for her now-defunct YouTube channel “8 Passengers” where she provided parenting advice, has been arrested on charges of aggravated child abuse. This comes after her malnourished son managed to escape through a window and seek help from a neighbor’s house.
The arrest took place in the southern Utah city of Ivins, where Franke was found at the home of Jodi Hildebrandt. Hildebrandt is the owner of a counseling business that focuses on teaching people to live better lives through honesty, responsibility, and humility. Recently, Franke has been appearing in YouTube videos posted by Hildebrandt’s counseling business, ConneXions Classroom.
According to an affidavit filed by an officer with the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department, Franke’s 12-year-old son was discovered by a neighbor after he climbed out of a window at Hildebrandt’s residence and approached them for food and water. The neighbor noticed duct tape on the boy’s ankles and wrists and immediately contacted law enforcement. The boy was then taken to the hospital, where he received medical attention for deep lacerations caused by being tied up with rope and his malnourished state.
Furthermore, officers discovered that Franke’s 10-year-old daughter was also malnourished and inside Hildebrandt’s house. She was promptly taken to the hospital as well. Additionally, two other children belonging to Franke were found to be in the custody of child protection services, as stated in the affidavit.
Arrest Made in Child Abuse Case
Franke Requests Legal Representation
According to the affidavit, Franke quickly requested legal representation upon being taken into custody and chose not to communicate with the officers. However, the identity of Franke’s attorney remains undisclosed as of Thursday.
Kevin Franke’s husband was contacted for a comment regarding the arrest, but he directed inquiries to his attorney, Randy S. Kester. Kester, who is representing Kevin Franke’s interests in keeping their children together and in his care, has refrained from providing any comments regarding Ruby Franke’s arrest.
No Response from Hildebrandt’s Business
Efforts to obtain a statement from Hildebrandt’s counseling business have been unsuccessful as of Thursday. Despite leaving a voicemail, no response has been received.
Bail Denied for Ruby Franke
A judge has approved the detective’s request to deny Ruby Franke bail. This decision was based on the severity of her children’s injuries, who were found at her home. The Department of Child and Family Services has taken custody of four of Franke’s children, and the detective has not yet had an opportunity to speak with two of them.
Evidence Links Franke to Abuse
Arrest records indicate that, although the children were discovered at Hildebrandt’s residence, Franke can be seen in a YouTube video filmed at the same location just two days before. This presence suggests Franke’s awareness of the abuse, malnourishment, and neglect that allegedly took place.
Hildebrandt Also Denied Bail
Court records state that Hildebrandt has also been denied bail. The severity of the charges and the evidence presented likely contributed to this decision.